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Preventing fractures in the masters athlete: we can do better
  1. Amy P Powell1,
  2. Lauren Borowski2,
  3. Andrea Kussman3,
  4. Aurelia Nattiv3
  1. 1Department of Orthopaedics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
  2. 2Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
  3. 3Department of Family Medicine, Division of Sports Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Amy P Powell, Department of Orthopaedics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA; amy.powell{at}hsc.utah.edu

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Our population is ageing. By 2030, the number of Americans over age 65 years is expected to reach 74.1 million.1 Maintaining physical activity levels will become increasingly important to mitigate the effects of chronic disease in our ageing patient population.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 min per week of moderate intensity exercise.2 A subset of ageing athletes are meeting and exceeding recommended physical activity levels, with an increasing number of athletes ages 40 years and older participating in Ironman competitions, ultracycling events, ultramarathons and long-distance inline skating.

Age, bone density and fractures: cannot run from the risk

Exercise can reduce many of the negative effects of ageing, and weight-bearing exercise is one of the mainstays of osteoporosis management. However, exercise alone cannot overcome physiological age-related declines in bone density. Bone density peaks in the third decade of life, and then steadily declines,3 4 placing older athletes at risk for …

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